• The narcissistic father may use guilt trips to prevent the child from leaving.
Dads are great at making you feel guilty for everything, and a narcissistic one is no exception. He might remind you of all the things he’s done for you in the past or how much he loves you, but really it’s just his way of trying to keep control over your life.
• He may constantly contact the child through phone calls, texts, or social media messages.
If there was an award for “Most Persistent Contact Attempts”, this dad would win hands down. No amount of unanswered calls or ignored texts will deter him – he’ll keep coming back like a boomerang that just won’t quit.
• The father may show up uninvited at the child’s home or workplace.
Just when you think it’s safe to go outside again… BAM! There he is on your doorstep with that smug look on his face. It doesn’t matter if you’re busy working or enjoying some downtime – this dad has absolutely zero boundaries.
• He may try to manipulate other family members into convincing the child to stay in contact with him.
The only thing worse than dealing with a narcissistic parent directly is having them recruit others as their minions. Suddenly every auntie and uncle becomes an unwitting accomplice in keeping tabs on your whereabouts and relaying information back to dear old dad.
• The father may threaten legal action if the child tries to cut off communication completely.
This guy doesn’t mess around – threatening lawsuits left and right like they’re going out of style. Don’t be surprised if he starts quoting obscure laws and statutes that have nothing whatsoever to do with your situation; anything goes when it comes to keeping control over his offspring.
• He may refuse to acknowledge any wrongdoing and blame everything on the child instead.
Narcissists never admit fault because they believe they can do no wrong (or maybe because deep down they know that if they did, their whole carefully constructed facade would come crashing down). Either way, it’s always your fault – you’re just too sensitive or overreacting again.
• The father might become aggressive or violent if he feels like his control over the situation is slipping away.
When all else fails, some dads turn to intimidation tactics. Whether it’s slamming doors and throwing things around the house or outright physical violence, this dad will stop at nothing to get what he wants.
• The father may use emotional blackmail, such as threatening to harm himself or others if the child leaves.
This is a classic move in the narcissist playbook – using guilt and fear to keep you under their thumb. Don’t be fooled by these empty threats; no one should have to sacrifice their own well-being for someone else’s peace of mind.
• He may gaslight the child by denying any abusive behavior and making them question their own memories and perceptions.
Gaslighting is when someone makes you doubt your own sanity by distorting reality and manipulating facts. It’s a cruel form of psychological abuse that can leave lasting scars on victims – but don’t worry, with enough therapy (and maybe some retail therapy), you’ll bounce back stronger than ever!
• The father might try to turn other family members against the child in order to isolate them further.
Divide and conquer: another favorite tactic of narcissists everywhere. By turning siblings or extended family members against each other, this dad can maintain his hold on power without anyone being able to challenge him directly.
• He may refuse to respect boundaries set by the child, claiming that he knows what’s best for them instead.
Boundaries? What are those? This dad has never heard of such a thing! Why bother respecting your wishes when he knows better than you do about everything from career choices to how many slices of pizza you should eat?
• The father could use financial control as a means of keeping the child under his influence, such as withholding inheritance or refusing to pay bills they agreed upon.
Money talks – and this dad knows it. By dangling financial incentives (or threats) in front of you like a carrot on a stick, he can keep you dancing to his tune without ever having to lift a finger.
• He may resort to stalking behaviors like following the child around town, showing up at events they attend, or monitoring their social media activity.
When all else fails (and sometimes even when it doesn’t), some dads take things up a notch by becoming full-blown stalkers. It’s creepy, it’s invasive… but hey, at least now you have an excuse for why your Instagram account is set to private!
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